For golfers, it is the dream of all dreams – carving out a path to the PGA Tour.
And Puyallup’s Derek Barron is taking the unlikeliest journey to try and get there.
First checkpoint – complete. The Emerald Ridge High graduate, who turn professional this month despite still holding down another full-time job, advanced through a pre-PGA Tour Qualifying School tournament in California.
Barron finished 10th at 4-under-par 212 on the Norman Course at PGA West, and will enter the first of three stages Oct. 24-27 at San Juan Oaks near San Jose.
“The pre-(Q-School) qualifying is for people who have never done it before,” Barron said. “Most of the people in it were from that area. There were only one or two guys out of California playing in it.”
Barron said the field was made up of a variety of golf-demographic groups.
About 25 percent of the participants were 30-something golfers who had tried unsuccessfully to get past this stage before. Fifty percent were golfers who just got out of college.
And the rest were guys like Barron – golfers in their 20s getting a later start on being a professional.
Barron saved his best round for last – a 3-under-par 69.
“I am really encouraged,” Barron said. “I was nervous, but I was totally focused, and hit the ball as good as I ever have.”